What Our Online Self Teaches Our Children

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By Cheri Roberts of Challenging the Rhetoric and Cheri Speak

I find it ironic when someone who is often inappropriate, pridefully argues in favor of their own facetiousness (ie inappropriateness), so let me add a little sarcasm to that … Duh!

The words; ironic, facetiousness and sarcasm, are used in their proper context above. In modern language however, we have a tendency to misuse words or to recreate their meanings out of laziness and ignorance or even just to suit our own needs.

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Today, too much emphasis is placed on semantics. Egos Personal rhetoric gets in the way of real discussion. Who can have a conversation if one cannot move beyond the need to be “right”; even if or when, right is obviously wrong?

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When potential engagement turns to semantics, conversation is stunted or stopped while a debate ensues. Once debate begins, ad hominem digs become the crutches we lean on behind the podiums from which we preach.

So then, are we really engaged? Hardly.

Have We Always Been This Way?

Certainly there have always been people who simply do not care what they say or whom their words affect, but odds are in favor a wager on technology’s bad influence would be a sure bet.

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Because of simple evolution it is easy to conclude at the current rate of tech growth, each successive generation will only be more “advanced”; although “advanced” like anything else, has its disabilities.

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Meaningful language, and the ability to engage with and through it, is getting lost in translation. While words have always had the power to be weapons; people have not always had the power to proliferate so greatly while wielding them.

If Orange is the New Black, then words are the worlds new WMDs.

Who Are We Hurting?

As our language has been whittled down to 140 characters or less, compassion too has been shaved away. One can not push the button to launch WMD if they have genuine compassion and empathy for those being targeted.

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While technology rapidly moves forward, the race to getting a like, comment or share is hurtling humanity itself backwards.

If each generation leads by example, what example are we setting?

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We rail over “free speech”, but fail to teach the importance of appropriateness. When we went from compassion to tolerance we taught our kids it was OK not to care; now we teach kids not only is it OK not to care, but also they can be real assholes about not caring, and that’s OK too.

But … Is It?

<insert semantic mumbo-jumbo here>

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